A recent Pew survey finds that more Americans think scientists contribute a lot to society (70%) than do doctors (69%), engineers (64%), the clergy (40%), journalists (38%), artists (31%), lawyers (23%) or business executives (21%).
Questions this makes me ask:
- I wonder how highly people rate “contributions to society” when it comes to “reasons to keep people around and pay them”? Are there other reasons, for example, that business executives should continue to be highly compensated and churned out of schools, or does this survey effectively say they should not be?
- Why in the frak aren’t farmers on that list? Does “food” not count as a major contribution anymore?
- Does “scientists” seem like an unreasonably huge category to anyone else? I think I “value” differently the contributions of, say, medical researchers versus people who work designing long-range missiles.
- I wonder what would have changed if there was a separate question for “artists in general” and “your favorite artists”. I bet the same people who want to look down on artists as a group would change their tune if asked specifically how much the artists that enlighten and comfort them contribute to society.
- Am I just too picky or what?